Hi John, all the best for the 80s!

I know you wouldn’t have invited me to your 80s party if you were still alive. You don’t even know me. But I have to tell you, you have changed my life completely. Sure, I liked Elvis Presley, Udo Jürgens and other well-known singers at that time. But they were singers with a distinctive voice. But you, with the Beatles, you were a band. When I heard the “I want to hold your hand” for the first time, it was all about me. I wanted to have a band like that and become at least as famous as you, the Beatles. I managed the former, but unfortunately, or thank God, I didn’t manage the latter.

But, walking in your paths, my life has changed. A shy teenager became a hippie, a son of a worker became a professional dance musician, who at that time was supposed to get to know the “big wide world” at the end of the 60s. After all, besides Austria, we have played your songs with pleasure and enthusiasm in Germany, Switzerland and France. I have abandoned my life as an electrician and instead built it on music.

But you have not only shown me what can be done and achieved with music, you have also taught me tolerance through your commitment and your way of life. You have shown that it is better to be together in society than to be against each other. But also taught that you do not have to accept everything and that you can resist peacefully. Through you I have learned to understand how to stand up for minorities.

But the music does not stop at rock’n’roll, you have continued to research and record music from other cultures. That has broadened my musical horizon. Through your choir singing, e.g. in “Because” and others, you showed me how to sing in a choir and years later I became the choirmaster of a male choral society. Yes, you have given me a lot and for that I thank you.

Many of your songs have found their way into classical music, choir music, wind orchestras, ensembles and soloists for various instruments.

I wish you a lot of singing in the musician’s heaven for your 80s. At the same time the 40th year of your murder will be commemorated this year. I am sorry about all the songs you might have written.

In memory, your Helmut Schwaiger

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